Today we're talking about THE LOVE LOOP. This is just a fancy term for when spouses are connected and nothing is hindering their relationship. Like your wedding ring - it's fully connected in a perfectly formed loop around your finger.
Marriage is the same way. And in order to keep that loop secure, we have to excel in the power of GRATITUDE!
When your spouse does something for you it opens up a half loop.
Expressing gratitude closes the Love Loop and results in connection.
Unexpressed gratitude leaves the loop open and results in disconnection.
The primary factor in emotional and relational health is GRATITUDE. Why? Because gratitude challenges negative thought patterns. Negative thinking destroys your brain and your bond to your spouse.
Gratitude is the social emotion of the brain - it makes you feel attached to the person you’re thankful for.
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received.
Thankfulness is the desire to express that feeling.
Thanksgiving is following through on that desire.
How to increase gratitude in your relationship:
The reward for gratitude is presence (Psalms 100:4) with God & your spouse.
CLOSING THE LOVE LOOP
By Jason & Tori Benham
So in this episode, we're talking about the love loop. Yes we are. And if you have no idea what that is, don't worry because we're going to explain it to you. You just have to listen. So keep listening. Don't press stop and go to some other podcasts right now, because we're going to talk to you about the love loop.
If you don't listen to us, that'd be like, not tying your shoes. You wouldn't do that, right? Huh. Oh, wow. Is that not a good way to start? Okay, well, okay, well, I'lCl give you one, hint. It has something to do with gratitude and the power of thankfulness in your relationship and your marriage. So, uh, now I don't want to just jump off and start talking about this before we do what Tory and I love doing more than anything are, I should say Tory loves doing, because this is a thing.
It is a thing. And I'm so thankful for the people who have come through for me in the clutch and sent me their jokes. You guys are so awesome. And I'm going to start. Are you ready? Um, just probably two, two. Okay. Okay. So the first joke is from one of your buddies from your Bible study, JJ, J J's Avala. I call him Jay, Jay Z, and he sent us some of the jokes that his kids love.
And so for all of you parents out there that are looking for some funny jokes to start out your dinner, just go to JJ. Take you're going to listen to these and feel free to use them at the dinner table with your kiddos tonight. The first one is from sweet Luca. Who's five years old, Luca. You're awesome.
This is such a great joke. What do you call cheese? That's not your that's not yours. I have no idea. Nacho cheese. Oh, okay. Give me enough time. I might would've guessed that. Good job, Luca. I loved it. Okay. Here's from McKenna Lucas' sister. She's three. How does the ocean say hello? No, it waves. Great. Good job McKenna.
I loved it. Okay. And in light of what just happened this week, I know we're dating ourselves, but who cares? I'm with will Smith. The Chris rock slap. Yeah, the slap heard round the world. Yeah, exactly. There can be a hundred people in a room in 99. Won't slap you. But one. Ah, oh, that's clutch. Who told you that one?
I just saw it online. Okay. So no, no props to anybody. The first one was a shout out the second one, but I liked the fact that we've, we've now got people flooding in. I can say tens of tens of people sending us their jokes, keep them coming. People. I love every time I get a joke, I just laugh hysterically.
I do have to admit Tori laughs really hard at these things more than I do. Um, I do like to laugh at them. I, I laugh harder when I see her laughing. Yeah. So we've got some more jokes for you. Uh, we were in a trip at Miami beach for my business. We were doing this expert ownership, um, concentrated coaching event.
We invited all sorts of entrepreneurs to go out to that, by the way, if you're ever interested in anything like that, go to expert ownership.com. We got a new event coming up in Aspen in September, but, uh, this is not a podcast Rexford ownership. I've got that podcast. This is beauty and battle. And so what I love is that now that people are sending these jokes, I'm, uh, I'm listening to.
People tell Tory these jokes. And so in Miami, this couple told Tory some of, some of their jokes and obviously their cheesy rated G corny jokes. They're telling these jokes and Tori is laughing hysterically, and I'm just kind of sitting there and I'm like, oh, I didn't think it was all that funny, but she's laughing so hard that I end up laughing.
So remember fighting together, draws you together, but so does laughing together. It's an important thing. It's medicine to the soul. Yeah. So let's talk about love. Okay. When we're closing the love loop. Now we've jumped to we'll jump to explain exactly what we mean by love loop in just a second, but I want to start out with gratitude because the love loop is all about gratitude.
Well, you know what? I'm going to tell you what the love loop is. The love loop is when spouses are connected with nothing, hindering their relationship like a wedding ring. Think about your wedding event, your, your wedding band. So it's just a perfect circle. Right? And it's fully connected. It's fully integrated.
Like there's nothing separating your rink. There's nothing been. You know, anything like that, obviously, if you ever jammed your finger and you've had some type of trauma, you might have to get your ring cut off. Well, then that means that the love loop has now been breached. You got to get it back. What Tori and I are saying is the key to staying in your love loop, which is that continual connection is gratitude.
Right? Okay. Now we'll talk more about love loop in just a second, but I want to jump into gratitude because when you read in the new. And this is so great. I'm in first Thessalonians one. When you read them in the new Testament, you'll see so many times when Paul opens his letters, he's showing gratitude toward the people that he's writing to.
And first Thessalonians one verse two. He says, we always thank God for all of you. And continually mentioned you in our prayers. We remember before our God and father your work produced by faith, by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord. Jesus Christ. And so.
Seeing how many times, um, Paul talks about gratitude and how much and how thankful he is for the people that he's riding to. And you know, what that does, it literally begins to bond you to, to that person who's showing that type of gratitude. Right? So Tori was talking the other day with me when we were walking around.
And she was talking about gratitude and how powerful it was and what she saw in the scripture as well. Yeah. Yeah. So we're reading Luke in, um, going through the Bible in a year and, um, uh, in Luke 14, it just jumped out to me this week. Um, just the balancing truths of scripture. You always talk about this to me, Jace, and it's just so powerful because so often we hear a scripture and sometimes.
Um, you know, hyper-focus on it without allowing the holy spirit to show us the balancing truth of that scripture. And I love in Luke 14, how Jesus tells us Jesus does two teachings to the multitudes. Right. And the first one, um, he in Luke 14, 12 through 24, the first teaching he says, um, okay, I'm just gonna read.
Verse 12, then Jesus turned to his host and he said, when you throw a banquet, don't just invite your friends, relatives, or rich neighbors for it's likely that they will not return the flight favor. I'm sorry. They can return the flavor to the flavor or the favor. Whichever one. No, I actually read it wrong completely.
Don't just invite your friends, relatives or rich neighbors for it is likely they will return the favor. Right? So the, those people, uh, the rich people, the people that have something to give back to you don't just invite them. Cause they so that they can give it back to you. Right. You don't just give to get, so he's talking about motive there.
It's better to invite those who never get an invitation invite the poor to your banquet. Along with the outcast, the handicap, the blind, those who could never repay the favor, then you will experience a great blessing in your life. And at the resurrection of the godly, you will receive a full reward. And I actually remember hearing the scripture growing.
And hearing it in different sermons and you know, my I'm a pastor's kid. And so I remember my grandfather, my dad doing teaches on this, but I just, I remember always kind of feeling like, okay, so you just, you know, it's so important that you don't, um, that you, we, we do things out of a pure motive. Right.
So right after that, teaching Jesus follows up with this parable, there was a man who invited me to join him in a. When the day for the feast arrived, the host instructed his servant to notify all the invited guests and tell them, come everything's ready now.
But one by one, they all made excuses. One by one, they said, I cannot come. And then he goes on to say the servant reports back to the host and told him of their excuses. The master becomes angry. He says, okay, we'll go at once throughout the city and invite any. You find the poor, the blind, the disabled, the hurting, the lonely, and invite them to my banquet.
When the servant returns to the master, he says, sir, I've done what you've asked, but there's still more room. So he says, okay, we'll go out and, and bring more back to you. Persuade the beggars on the street, the outcome, the outcast, even the homeless urgent, urgently insist that they come and enjoy this feast.
And I just think it's so powerful that he's like, don't, don't just give to get right. But who did he win when those that he invited would not come? Who did he go out to get? He went out to get those who could, would, um, truly appreciate the gift that he was giving. Right? It's like the, he's so frustrated with these people who clearly are not grateful for the invitation that they were given.
Clearly he has this gift for them, this great feast. And basically they stiff arm him and say, I I'm not going to receive it. So he goes to those that he knows. We'll appreciate it. And I just think that that is such a powerful story. And I think that all throughout scripture, he talks, um, there all throughout scripture, you see, um, gratitude, the thread of gratitude all throughout scripture and how powerful it is and how it closes the love loop.
And in this story, you see how, when you give something, it can only, if it's not received. There is an incomplete that, that occurs. And I just, um, you know, the Lord really showed me this, the power of the love loop through when we would throw our own parties. Oh yeah. Yeah. So Jason and I, um, we've always had just a Hartford for marriage.
And when we first got married, we really didn't know. How we could give in that way, because we had small kids and Jason was running, was just super busy running the businesses. And one way we felt like we could bless marriages was to throw a big Valentine's party for our couple friends every year. And that was kind of like our way of giving to our friends and their marriages and to try to bless and bring people together.
And, you know, when it started out like a first party, I think we just had, I don't know, like 50 people. And then the following years we started fighting like a ton of people. A hundred or more, and then we, so we've kind of scaled back. We've done, we've done it all. We've done small parties, we've done big parties, we've gone back and forth.
Um, but God is so good to speak to us through just through everyday events and through the things that we do. And he spoke to me so clearly through throwing these parties, the power of. Right. And I remember so many parties that we would throw because we would budget, right. We would, we would budget these parties and we've set aside money because we want to make it really special for our couple friends.
And so we would cater and we would buy them gifts and just try to make it really special. So it was, it was a lot of work for me. I was planning it for several months out of the year. And then, um, and then also it was, it was, it was, um, you know, it was expensive and it was something that we had to budget and put aside.
And so I remember there being, you know, the times that we would do really big ones. I remember one time we did one for over a hundred people and I had the gift at the door. Um, you know, it was like a little gift card for each couple to go away with. And. A bunch of the couples that came to the party and, you know, we had like a really nice catered, hot dinner.
Um, and you know, they, they left without saying goodbye or saying, thank you. Right. And I'm sure I could easily have done something like this, myself at a party. That's big like that where you're not really, you know, You're thinking, oh, they're busy, you know, whatever. So I don't fault these people cause I learned something really powerful through this.
Um, but you know, some of the people would come and go with in grab the gift on the way out. Because they were all gone at the end so that I knew that they took the gifts, but without saying anything without saying, thank you, um, for having us. And they didn't mean it, they didn't. And like I said, I learned something really powerful through this and I'm remember feeling really like, kind of disconnected, like.
Did they receive the gift I give gave to them? Like, did, did they enjoy it? So they breach in the loop. There was a breach. It was like, I don't know if they had fun. I don't know if they, you know, like all the, the games and the things that we plan. I don't even know if they enjoyed it because I, there was no, um, there was no communication.
There was no verbal gratitude that would say, okay, what you did blessed me. Um, I received. And then it closes that loop. Bam, you got connection. You know, what I should do real quick is let me go ahead and define the love loop again. And then I'm going to show you exactly what Tory is talking about through that situation and what it looks like in terms of actual semantics.
Like how do we put words around this? So obviously the love loop we said at the beginning is when both spouses are connected with nothing hindering their relationship. Now it's not just spouses, it's actually with people too. So we all have love loops with people. It's when there's nothing, that's hindering the relationship.
So now here's, here's why we call it the love loop. When your spouse or someone like in Tory situation with our friends, you know, at our Valentine's party, when your spouse does something for you, it opens up half a loop. Right. So just imagine in your mind, half of your wedding ring, just half of it. Now, when you do something for somebody, if I do something for Tory, like.
Vacuum the floor when she's out at grocery shopping. So what I've done is I've kind of opened up that half loop right now, what she's done by going out and grocery shopping and not requiring me to do it. She's also opened up her half loop. You're not like you're always opening up when you're, when you're doing something for your spouse.
Um, Dr. John Gottman calls that a bid, it's a bid for approval for affection. It's a bid for attention. It's like, this is my bid. So I vacuum the floor. Tori comes home. If she expresses gratitude, what that does is then how that closes the loop and it results in connection. So I've opened up a half loop, which is like, Hey, I'm going to do something for her.
I'm thankful for her. So I'm going to do something for her. Then she expresses gratitude. It closes the loop and that's the love loop. Now listen, unexpressed gratitude leaves the loop open and results in disconnection. So if she comes in and she sees it and maybe she feels thankful in her heart, But she doesn't express it.
There's disconnection. There's something in me that needed her to be grateful. And that's why I look at, um, uh, those two parables that, that Tori just told, you know, the one is Jesus says, and it's not necessarily parable, but he says, if you, if you're doing. Like your motive for doing something, shouldn't be to get something in return, right?
If you're the giver, then your motive needs to be pure, but then he flips it around and he says, now if you're the receiver, right, if you're the receiver, you need to show gratitude. Because he says like, if, if I want you to, uh, to, if you're going to do this party, I want you to go out and invite people that can't give back to you.
And then he flips it around and is basically like, if you've been invited to a party, like if you're the receiver you need. Do you need to be grateful. You need to be appreciative because that's what he has done. He died on the cross. And if we don't receive that as a gift with gratitude in our heart, that he took our sin, then we don't get it.
We're disconnected from our heavenly father and we, and the love loop is not closed right now. If you feel gratitude. So of Tori walks in and she feels gratitude, but she doesn't express it, express it to me. So I vacuum, I vacuum the floor. She walks in and sees it and she feels gratitude, but she doesn't express it.
It's not just. Uh, it doesn't just result in disconnection. It's received as in gratitude. Like she's not thankful which communicates rejection. See that's the danger of not expressing and showing gratitude, especially in marriage. Right? So it's, that's why I say, you know, catch your spouse, doing something that they always do that you take for granted and thank them for it.
What you're doing is closing that love loop and creating connection. Yeah. So the love loop is giving and love receiving with gratitude. It's just like the parable, just like the teaching that Jesus gave when you give, do it in love, when you receive, receive it with gratitude and that's what closes the love loop.
And it's so powerful. And I'm so glad that the, that the Lord brought me through that because I remember going through that, um, with the party and feeling very strongly. Maybe I'm doing this for the wrong reason, right. Maybe I'm just, you know, my only doing it because I want gratitude. And that was something the Lord had to really, you know, like I had to really work through, like, maybe I'm just, maybe I'm doing this for the wrong reason because it hurts me when I don't feel.
Like people received it. Yeah. And so the Lord was working on me with that at the same time, he was showing me the power of connection that comes through gratitude. And so yes, when we get there, you know, our motive has to be in love not to receive gratitude. Didn't do it straight out of love, just like God loves us.
Right. He still loves us when we don't show them gratitude all the time. There are certain things that we don't get. If we don't show gratitude, you don't get invited to the party. If you're not showing gratitude, you can't come in like that. That is a biblical principle. And so I think it's the exact same with presence.
That's why God says in Psalm 100, enter my gates with Thanksgiving and my courts with praise, gates and courts. That's. And in the old Testament time, that's where the presence of God was. And he's like, if you want in, if you want my presence, it's got to start with Thanksgiving. It's got to start with gratitude in your heart and expressing that gratitude.
And then you get my presence. But without that, you don't, and it's the same thing for us as spouses. If I want Tori's presence, I got gratitude. If she wants my presence, gratitude, you know, the beauty of. Is that when you release, when you, uh, express gratitude, what it does, uh, inside your brain is it releases two particular chemicals.
I've I've said this a lot of got it in our book as well. It releases dopamine and oxytocin. Dopamine is the feel good chemical. Like you actually will feel good if you're expressing gratitude. If you're feeling and expressing gratitude to God and to others, it releases dopamine. It feels good to do that, but it also releases oxytocin, which is the bonding.
And when you feel and express gratitude for somebody and toward somebody, it draws you to that person. And in that person, when you express that type of gratitude, it releases oxytocin and dopamine in their brains. So they feel good and they feel drawn to you. Now let me just pause one second. This is why oftentimes you see, uh, affairs starting with people at work, right.
You're working with. Of the opposite sex or shoot nowadays could be of, uh, of the same sex, whatever, but you're, you're working with somebody and you're, if you start feeling and expressing deep gratitude toward that person that goes beyond just a transaction. You're going to find yourself drawn to that person, even if you're not attracted to them physically.
Right. And that person will find themselves drawn to you. It's dangerous. Yeah. It's so important to understand what happens with gratitude, the chemical reaction, because you should not appreciate. Like a man should not appreciate another woman's body. A woman should not appreciate another man's compliments and her body.
Right. Right. You know, his appreciation for her that we have to be self-aware enough to know. When this is happening because you're right. We've, we've had a lot of couples in our, in our living room and it started with, uh, misguided appreciation. Yeah. That's good. Has anybody thanks you that I need to go whack and face.
Okay. So here here's a couple definitions and then we'll wrap this up here in just a minute. Uh, gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness. So that's how we define gratitude. It's the inward feeling of kindness received thankfulness is the desire to express that feeling. Thanks giving is following through on that desire.
So Tori comes in and, uh, she's making breakfast for the kids this morning. I felt. Gratitude toward her because I'm like, it's a, it's actually very kind what she's doing for our kids right now. You know, those are my kids thankfulness inside of me is the desire to actually express that. Thanks giving would be going one step further and actually letting those words come out of my.
Thank you. You're awesome. Thank you for doing this for the kids. Thank you for always doing this for the kids. If you do those, you go through those three things. You're experiencing the gratitude and thankfulness is your desire to express it. And thanks giving is following through on that desire. You will close the love loop.
And as Tori said, you be careful with who you do that. Right. You can't be doing it. You can't be going through that process with somebody that you shouldn't be drawing close to, but if you want to draw close to your primary core relationships, then it happens through gratitude and what we call the love loop.
So, uh, you know, I have a couple of quick pointers on how you can draw close to your spouse through gratitude, just, and I just wanted to mention them real quick. Um, so how are you gonna increase gratitude? Number one, pay attention to the little things that you typically take. So pay attention to those little things, to focus on the good you can be thankful for, not the junk that you can't be thankful for.
I mean, everybody's got stuff in their lives that they're like not thankful for. So focus on the good three. You, you can experience the emotion of gratitude by putting yourself in different shoes. So for instance, uh, if I didn't have Tori. What would my life be like if I didn't have my husband or my spouse or whatever, what would my life be?
Put yourself in different shoes? And that will help you experience the emotion of gratitude for your spouse. Let me give you two quick, two more quick ones. Um, have a, have a habit of thanking God for your spouse. So every time you get up in the morning and you're praying with the Lord, remember he's not just your father, he's your father-in-law thank him for giving you your spouse.
Right. You know, there's a verse specifically for men that says. Uh, houses and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord, like a prudent wife. God almighty is the one who gave you that bride. Like thank him. And if, if you're like, she's not so prudent right now. Well then you help her become that.
Like you, you can often tell that the, the relationship, a man's relationship with God, by just looking at his spouse's face, right. Just look at his wife's face. Is she blossoming? That kind of thing. So Tori, you better smile when people see you. And last, last, very simple express express express your gratitude, the more you express your gratitude to your spouse, the more you'll want to express.
And then the more they'll want to express to you. So that's the love loop. I love that. And I, and when you think back to our dating years, like we naturally had the love loop going. So, you know, we didn't have to think about it came very natural. But now we have to do with intention, the things that came naturally.
Well, you do. I, um, I feel it naturally, you have to force yourself. Well, it, sometimes you have to stir it up. That's right. I mean, life gets busy. There's a lot of responsibilities. That's right. And you start up with those little five points that I just gave you there. So, but that's the. God has made you to be connected to your spouse and you do it through gratitude.
And when you do that, you'll not only grow close to your spouse, but you'll grow close to the God who gave your spouse to you. That's a powerful place to be. And you know, how we normally end would you rather, and I forgot my book. We're sitting in this room off of our garage right now, and we literally in our room.
And we have a very high maintenance dog who does not like to be away from us. And so we gave him a bone at the front door and we ran sprinted out to this room with our, um, computer. Yeah, so that Rocky didn't follow us. And I forgot the book. Okay. I need to get you on video sprinting in your robe and your little lug slippers.
So let everybody see it. Let's I'm going to put you on the spot. Give me a, would you rather, would you rather have hotdog fingers or fish eyes? You remember one of those. Um, I think we do, we do that one. Okay. Hot dog finger or fish eyes, hot dog fingers all day. You can wear gloves. Yes. Well, or you just hide your hands.
Very good. Or you can just sit on your hands, you know? Good job. Yeah. Put a little sauerkraut with that and you're good to go. Oh, it's disgusting. Okay. We'll see you next time. Don't forget to rate, review subscribe. If you get your jokes and send in your jokes and the way to do that is to go to at Jason.
On Instagram and Tori who monitors that account will look at it and she'll laugh hysterically. And then she'll tell a joke and give you props. And you know what, if for some reason I don't respond to you DM me because JJ, I did not even get your, your, um, jokes until Jason told me. And I had to like go, I don't know, I'm figuring this whole thing out, but if for some reason I don't respond to you, be persistent like this.
Be persistent. So you guys the next time.